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Gay Rights in Russia

by guineapiggirl


You are walking along the street, holding hands with the person you love, when you are suddenly seized, arrested, detained for fourteen days and then deported from the country. Why? Because the person you love is the same gender as you.

This is the reality for LGBT people in Russia. They are being increasingly persecuted and discriminated against by the law. "Promoting homosexuality to minors" is now a criminal offence and this includes public displays of affection between same-sex couples and even talking about homosexuality in any way which isn't negative.

It's not just the Russian government who are abhorrently homophobic; the attitudes and beliefs of many Russians have contributed to the problem and, bucking a global trend, homophobia is on the rise. A 2013 survey found that 74% of Russians believe homosexuality should not be accepted by society, compared to 60% in 2002. A recent survey found that 22% of Russians believe gay people should be forced to undergo treatment and 16% believe they should be isolated from society. Most horrific of all, 5%- 1 in every 20 Russians- believe that homosexuals should be liquidated. In Russia, introducing anti-gay legislation is an easy way for politicians to gain votes.

The police ignore violence against LGBT people. There have been many reported cases of victims of "corrective" rape or homophobic attacks going to the police only to be turned away when their sexuality is discovered.

A quarter of all LGBT teenagers in Russia have attempted suicide. While this statistic seems shocking, when one considers the climate in which they are growing up and all the hatred they must experience, it is no surprise.

As I write this, the 2014 Winter Olympics are due to soon be held in Sochi, Russia. Despite international outrage and calls for the Games to be boycotted in protest of Putin's poor human rights record regarding LGBT people as well as environmental and political activists, it seems that the Games will go ahead with the vast majority of Olympians attending. This has been justified by saying that it would be unfair on the athletes who've been training so hard to boycott the Games. Is it fair on the millions of LGBT Russians for the international community to seemingly condone Putin's actions?

There was another Olympic Games, not really so long ago, when the international community failed to take action despite the growing oppression of minority groups in the host country. Then, as now, police ignored beatings and crimes. Then, as now, discriminatory laws had already been put in place. Then, as now, the watching world stayed silent. That was the 1936 Games in Berlin, Germany.

Just six years later, the Holocaust began. For how long will we stand by before we take action to stop history from repeating itself?


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Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:48 am
thehotinpsychotic wrote a review...



I feel like this was an essay that needed to be written. I saw something on Tumblr about what's going on with gay laws in Russia, and I was disgusted. Very tastefully done, a lot of people who think they're pro gay can be offensive, but you did a really good job at simply demonstrating the problem and even hinting at a solution.




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Sun Dec 29, 2013 11:16 pm
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MooCowPoop wrote a review...



This is a very nice essay, and a very good topic as well.

It is very wellwritten and structured very nively. I like that you back up your arguments with those statistics. To add, ypu have very strong arguments and solid points.

I would have to agree with everyone else that your scenario in the beginning is quite vague, and if I might add, too fast paced. Perhaps it felt too fast-paced because vague or vice versa.

I felt like the statistics were at times a little overwhelming, but I could see how important they were to support your argument.

The comparison between the Holocaust and what's happening to the gays in Russia now shocked me. At first I felt offended by the comparison but you opened my eyes a bit. There are some similarities between the two, and I think that it is this last statement that makes your essay even stronger.

I found a minor grammar mistake: toward the end, you say "another Olympic Games". 'Games' is plural, so 'another' is not the correct word to use here. But this is something that can be easily fixed; I just wanted to get that out of the way because it was bugging me.

This is a very strong essay. Good job.




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Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:43 pm
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joebot wrote a review...



I prefer to put my thoughts in a work as I read it. All comments and edits are in brackets. A [x] means I deleted something. If something starts with a [?], it means there's a question attached to it.
This is just my opinion. You don't have to take ANY of my advice.



[Describe the day] You are walking along the street, holding hands with [your partner][.] [Suddenly police swarm you.] You are [x] seized, arrested, [and] detained for fourteen days[.] [You are heftily fined and then] deported from the country. [x] [All] because the person you love [shares your gender].

This is the reality for LGBT [community] in Russia. They [face increasing discrimination] [x] by the law. "Promoting homosexuality to minors" is now a criminal offence and [x] includes public displays of affection [x] [or] even [simple discussion][x].

It's not just the Russian government who are abhorrently homophobic; [it's] the attitudes and beliefs of many Russians [themselves][.] [x] Bucking a global trend, homophobia [in Russia] is on the rise. A 2013 survey [by who?] found that 74% of Russians believe homosexuality should not be accepted by society[x] compared to 60% in 2002. [Another] recent survey [by who?] found that 22% of Russians believe gay people should be forced to undergo treatment[,] and 16% believe they should be isolated from society. [And finally,] 5% - [one] in every [twenty] Russians - believe that homosexuals should be [put to death]. [x]

[x]Violence against LGBT people [is ignored by police]. [x] "[C]orrective" rape or homophobic attacks [have become common, and] [police often refuse to help the victims of these crimes.] [The hatred is crushing and these conditions have lead to a depressing quality of life for LGBT Russians.] A quarter of all LGBT teenagers in Russia have attempted suicide. [As shocking as it may seem], [x] it is no surprise.

[x]The 2014 Winter Olympics are [x] to [x] be held in Sochi, Russia. Despite international outrage and calls for the Games to be boycotted in protest of Putin's poor human rights record [x] [in addition to] environmental and political [issues], it seems that the Games will go [on] with the vast majority of Olympians attending. [Supporters of the Games say] [x] it would be unfair on the athletes who've been training so hard[x]. [But] is it fair [for] the millions of LGBT Russians[x] [to be ignored by the international community]?

There was another Olympic Games [x] when the [world] failed to take action despite the growing oppression of minority groups[x]. [In that country,] police ignored [the] beatings and [hate] crimes. [x]Discriminatory laws had [x] been put in place. [And just like today,] the watching world stayed silent. That [Games] was the 1936 Games in Berlin, Germany. [no new paragraph] Just six years [after was the mark of] the Holocaust[x]. For how long will we stand by[? And how long before history repeats itself?]


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Wow. First I want to say that this was structured extraordinarily well. You keep the tension rising and then leave the audience off on a stinging note. I have to applaud you for giving relevant statistics.
Most of my edits were for flow purposes. You often threw in some superfluous information or amendments so I cut a lot of that out. With your stats you never provided us with a source, so you need to take care of that. If this is for a competition, that will be very important.
I don't know how I feel about the question at the end, but I think it's good. Again, most my edits were just for flow. I found no spelling errors. The biggest issues would be sentences that were overly complex or just extra stuff added where it wasn't needed.
Overall, very good! Extremely strong article. I wish you the best of luck!




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Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:30 pm
CreativeWriter wrote a review...



You have very valid argument points and a way with words. Your arguments are certainly forceful and firm, but perhaps you could elaborate on that scene at the beginning? where the person is arrested?
Maybe you could expand the story later? Just a suggestion.

Like I said, you have a way with words and you have the potential to take your writing to a higher level.




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Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:09 pm
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WintryOz wrote a review...



This is really shocking news! I knew homosexuality iss considered a crime in Russia, but I didn't know the consequences were so extreme. My heart goes out to the Russian LGBT community. As a member of the LGBT community myself, I am outraged. I wish there was something I could do. I mean, my boycotting the Games wouldn't do much good considering, I probably wouldn't have watched it anyway (I'm not into sports).

With that said, I shall view this article in a more analytical sense now. Your arguements certainly are forceful and firm, but I think it could be penned a little better. Perhaps elaborate on that scene in the begining, where the person is arrested. Maybe you could expand that story later in the essay when you talk about the suicide. One half of the couple is arrested and the other commits suicide, perhaps? I think this could create a real outcry. It's just a suggestion though.

You definitely have a way with words and the potential to take your writing to a higher level.





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